SOLAR ROOFING SYSTEMS CAN SAVE YOU BETWEEN 50-80% ON YOUR ELECTRIC BILL EVERY MONTH.
That 50-80% every month doesn’t just come from solar panels; there are several solar roofing systems that can increase the efficiency of your building that most building owners are unaware of. What are some solar roofing systems that can help you improve the energy performance of your building?
Solar Photovoltaic Panels
This is the king of the solar roofing systems, the one that most people are aware of. Install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on your roof that generate electricity from the sun. These panels can be installed on the roof or ground, but roof installation is most common. Most solar roofing ideas spring from solar PV panels as it is the most obvious way to reduce your electric bill: make the upfront investment and then save each month.
Solar PV panels can be used with any roofing system that can have supports installed on it such as metal, single-ply, and sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF) just to name a few. We’ve got some other pieces related to how solar panels can work together with SPF roofing.
Solar Thermal Systems
A solar thermal system is quite a bit more archaic than solar PV panels, but it is very direct with fewer parts that can fail. Rather than a two–step process where panels absorb the sunlight, convert it to electricity, and then make it available for use, a solar thermal system uses the sun’s energy to directly hear water for washing or heating. This system again has a smaller risk of failing with fewer high-tech parts, but it also doesn’t provide the same benefits that solar PV panels do.
Passive Solar Design
The most simple of the three solar roofing systems discussed here, passive solar design is simply letting the sun heat your workspace to reduce heating costs in the winter. This can accomplished with skylights that let heat in, almost as a greenhouse effect, solar tubes, which we’ve talked about before, and large windows also let heat in.
The trick with passive solar design is to remember that, while your building needs to be heated in the winter, it also needs to be cooled in the summer. You won’t want giant skylights in your warehouse in the middle of summer when it’s 95 degrees and the sun is beating down. When passive solar design is incorporated into your building, you need to remember that you only want the sun heating your building in the winter. Therefore, you need to include in your design a way of keeping the sun out in the summer, such as shades, blinds, or covers.
There are many solar roofing systems that can save you money in the operation of your building. Don’t stop here; continue searching for other methods that can make your building more efficient. High performance buildings are the future, and the earlier you get on board, the more money you will save.